Friday, August 5, 2011

World's Heaviest People Including Francis John Lang Aka Michael Walker (1000 Pounds Plus) Who I Saw In Mobile In 1956

Francis John Lang, aka Michael Walker (b. 1934) of Gibsonton, FL (born in Clinton, IA); 6 ft 2 in, believed to have reached a maximum weight of 1187 lbs. Lang had weighed only 150 lbs as a soldier in Korea. He blamed his masssive weight gain on prescription drug abuse, claiming that his narcotic of choice had the side effect of giving him an uncontrollable appetite. Though unable to walk (a handicap that kept more than one fat lady out of the side show), Lang found a unique way of capitalizing on his situation: he had a mobile home built with observation windows, and traveled the country putting himself on display at carnivals and fairs. Lying nearly nude on an oversize circular bed, he preached to the curious about the evils of drugs, using his own body as the moral lesson. His peak weight, claimed for him by Christian Farms of Killeen, TX, in the summer of 1971, was unverified, but Guiness Superlatives found photographic evidence to be reasonably conclusive. In early 1972 Lang was hospitalized in Houston for a suspected heart attack, at which time he was estimated to weigh between 900 and 1000 lbs. His symptoms proved to be caused by an inflamed gallbladder, probably aggravated by his weight loss, and the examining physician declared his heart to be "unusually normal." By 1980, Lang had reportedly reduced to 369 lbs.

Below is a link to a list with pictures of the World's Heaviest People.
The guy I saw is #6. Francis John Lang, aka Michael Walker
I am sure this is the guy I saw in Mobile, Alabama in 1956. He had a trailer that he parked and charged people 50 cents to have a look.
I paid the 50 cents and walked up to have a look. I looked.  I didn't say anything to him and he didn't say anything to me.
I was 15 years old at the time and the trailer was parked on Old Shell Road in Mobile opposite The Rebel Queen which is mentioned in the post below this one. Scroll down.
   It certainly made an impression on me at the time. Seems odd to me that he was parked on Old Shell Road. That is not normally a place where you would encounter such an attraction.